Oklahoma Congressman Frank Lucas Happy to See RAMP-Up Included in COVID-19 Relief PackageMon, 21 Dec 2020 17:10:12 CST
Oklahoma Congressman Frank Lucas is seeing one of his highest priorities coming to fruition just ahead of Christmas as the RAMP-UP act that he introduced back in July of this year is a part of the latest COVID-19 Relief Package.
As earlier introduced, the RAMP-UP Act establishes a program to make facility upgrades and planning grants ($80 million in direct funding and $20 million in annual funding until FY23) to existing meat and poultry processors to help them move to Federal Inspection and be able to sell their products across state lines. The legislation would also require USDA to work with states and report on ways to improve the existing Cooperative Interstate Shipment program.
The COVID-19 pandemic led to significant disruptions and temporarily reduced meat production- leading to challenges in the meat supply chain for both producers and consumers.
Included in the COVID relief package (Sec. 764 and Sec. 765) is an amended version of the RAMP-UP Act, supporting meat and poultry processing, providing $60 million in grants to small meat and poultry processors to make improvements necessary to expand their markets by meeting federal food safety inspection standards. Grants may be used for modernizing or expanding facilities, modernizing equipment, and implementing other processes to ensure food safety.
On the inclusion of the RAMP-UP Act in the COVID-19 relief package, Congressman Frank Lucas stated, “I’m happy to see the RAMP-UP Act was included in the COVID stimulus package. Beginning in the Spring, the coronavirus pandemic revealed both the significance and the vulnerabilities of our nation’s food supply chain. The RAMP-UP Act gives small and medium sized processors the tools they need to become federally inspected facilities, expanding their customer base, while helping meet the demands of consumers. While we’ve come to rely on fewer and larger processors, the RAMP-UP Act will undoubtedly bolster the meat supply chain for producers and consumers alike.”
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